Climate Impacts and Risk Assessment

 ©Bertknot, CC BY-SA 2.0
©Bertknot, CC BY-SA 2.0

Our work focuses on understanding the effects of climate change on livelihood realities and development perspectives of especially vulnerable population groups. Impact and vulnerability assessments provide an important basis for the identification of adaptation requirements as well as analyses of loss and damage. Through assessing the implications of impacts at different levels of warming, we gain a better understanding of the implications of different emission pathways. SIDS and LDCs face particularly great challenges. Their physical exposure and the limited number of available adaptation options as well as adaptive capacity are key determinants of their vulnerability.

Publications

This paper provides five scenarios of sustainable irrigation deployment in the 21st century integrated into the framework of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, which account for biophysical irrigation limits and socioeconomic constraints. We find that the potential for sustainable irrigation expansion implied by biophysical limits alone is considerably reduced when socioeconomic factors are considered.  
The contributions of single greenhouse gas emitters to country-level climate change are generally not disentangled, despite their relevance for climate policy and litigation. Here, we quantify the contributions of the five largest emitters (China, US, EU-27, India, and Russia) to projected 2030 country-level warming and extreme hot years with respect to pre-industrial climate using an innovative suite of Earth System Model emulators.  
Although effects on labour is one of the most tangible and attributable climate impact, our quantification of these effects is insufficient and based on weak methodologies. Partly, this gap is due to the inability to resolve different impact channels, such as changes in time allocation (labour supply) and slowdown of work (labour productivity). Explicitly resolving those in a multi-model inter-comparison framework can help to improve estimates of the effects of climate change on labour effectiveness.  

Projects

The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
This project aims to improve the understanding of future risks from water scarcity and food insecurity in particularly vulnerable countries in the Horn of Africa Drylands, and to support community-centered climate adaptation and resilience. It aims to enhancing the climate service capacity in this region and support adaptation policies and communication.  
The EmBARK-project investigates time scales and possible trajectories of socio-economic transformation processes and analyse their relevance as potential barriers to adaptation to climate change. An improved understanding of the temporal dynamics of such barriers is key in developing a more realistic understanding of future climate impacts and for scientifically robust assessment of future climate related loss and damage.  
IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) implement concrete projects.  
SLICE is investigating Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Climate Extremes and aims to develop a systematic understanding of the channels through which climate extremes impact socio-economic development all the way from the household to the macroeconomic level. This will help developing effective strategies for long-term economic development under climate change.